Princeton Republicans balk at left-leaning 'solidarity' pledge

Matthew Penza
New Jersey Campus Correspondent

  • A group of 17 Princeton University organizations are criticizing the elite university for its many failures in a recent "solidarity" pledge, including its refusal to remove references to Woodrow Wilson from campus and offer race-based housing.
  • The College Republicans, however, refused to sign the pledge, saying they oppose all forms of racism, but not efforts to use recent political events to influence campus politics.
  • A cohort of Princeton University student organizations released a statement of “solidarity” reiterating demands for racially segregated housing on campus.

    The joint statement, released via The Daily Princetonian, was signed by 17 student groups, including the Black Student Union, the College Democrats, and the Young Democratic Socialists of Princeton.

    "I caution all Princeton students to not succumb to the false moral dichotomy perpetuated by this statement."   

    While the statement mostly focuses on condemning the recent white-supremacist rallies both in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia, it then uses such events to draw attention to Princeton’s alleged role in “upholding structural oppression.”

    [RELATED: Princeton pilots new social justice-based orientation program]

    “At a white-serving and male-serving institution like Princeton University—with ties to slavery and racial and gendered exclusion—we must hold our university and each other accountable,” the statement contends, later adding that students “must recognize and challenge the ways in which the university currently underserves students of color, LGBT and non-binary students, women, undocumented students, students with disabilities, and low-income students, despite touting diversity and inclusion.”

    In support of those claims, the letter provides several purported examples of how the elite institution has failed such populations, including its “refusal to remove racist memorialization on campus,” in the form of numerous buildings named after the school’s most notable former president, Woodrow Wilson.

    [RELATED: Princeton course explores ‘white identity politics’ in ‘Trumpland’]

    Other shortcomings of the school, according to the signatories, include its “failure to declare itself a sanctuary campus for undocumented students,” as well as its “failure to provide students with a more diverse academic curriculum that addresses historically marginalized groups.”

    Finally, the statement calls out the school for refusing to offer race-based housing, saying it perpetuates a “double standard” by allowing “students to live together based on shared artistic or sustainability interests,” but declining “to allow living spaces based on shared race or ethnicity.”

    “It is not good enough to disapprove of or condemn racism, white supremacy, Nazism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, ableism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, transmisogynoir, xenophobia, and any oppression of historically marginalized communities,” the signatories assert, pledging to “work both individually and collectively to address the shortcomings of the university.”

    [RELATED: Princeton prof tells grads Trump is a ‘racist, sexist megalomaniac’]

    One organization noticeably absent from the statement, the College Republicans, told Campus Reform that while its members “unequivocally stand with all student organizations in combating and rebuking racism, anti-Semitism, and other racially inspired or otherwise motivated forms of discrimination,” it cannot “endorse the entirety of this statement” because it exploits anti-racism to promote particular views on campus politics.

    “I caution all Princeton students, especially incoming freshmen, to not succumb to the false moral dichotomy perpetuated by this statement of solidarity,” College Republicans President John Zarrilli told Campus Reform. “The conflation of Charlottesville, white supremacists, and campus politics is perhaps effective, but grossly misleading, whether intended or not.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @mpenza19





    Matthew Penza

    Matthew Penza

    New Jersey Campus Correspondent

    Matthew Penza is a New Jersey Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He is a junior at Princeton University, concentrating in the Department of Computer Science. He is currently a managing editor for The Princeton Tory, and is involved with the Aquinas Institute, the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, Princeton Pro-Life, and the Anscombe Society.

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